Glenn Reynolds has a round-up of links on the Times‘ latest silly gaffe. The New York Times evidently can’t even identify whether a quotation comes from the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
If it were some blogger, it would be an error. But when it’s the “newspaper of record” for the country (although I’d dispute that claim) — an organization that’s supposed to have one of the strongest editorial staffs in the country, making a mistake that would get you dinged on a high school civics test is a sign that the Times doesn’t have the credibility to be considered a world-class newspaper. If journalists want to know why their profession is looked down upon, it’s because of things like this. If they can’t get the small stuff right, how in the world can we trust them to accurately inform us about the bigger things?
UPDATE: Lawprof Ann Althouse finds that the logic of the editorial itself is hardly befitting.
For that matter, their whole point is based on the notion that the suicide rate of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is somehow high enough to warrant extra caution — which isn’t true. The suicide rate for military veterans is less than that of their civilian cohort, and the increase in the military suicide rate is based on a statistically insignificant variation — 11 suicides out of hundreds of thousands of active duty military personnel. (The average suicide rate for 25-44 year-olds generally is 13.6/100,000 while the military rate is 13/100,000.)
Bad writing, bad logic, bad history… proving once more that on subjects deeper than food and fashion, the New York Times is rarely worth reading.