Krugman and Douthat both wrong on Kennedy

The Op-Ed page of The New York Times published two columns on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the same day. From Paul Krugman on the Left, and Ross Douthat on the Right, we got two fistfuls of error.

Reading The New York Times Op-Ed page Monday morning, I was struck by the inaccuracy, and incompleteness, of two columns concerning the record of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Writing opinions should not be a license for misstatements or mistakes that could be avoided by reference to readily available sources.First, an admission: I committed an offense myself in a Times Op-Ed in 2008 when I included in a list of upcoming primaries and caucuses a state in which voting had already taken place. I caught the error when I reread the piece upon publication, and a correction was published.

Now to more current matters. Ross Douthat's column on abortion used the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver—and her husband Sargent Shriver—to attack Sen. Kennedy's "fervor on abortion" as he and his sister "enter eternity." The column wasn't striving for good taste; but it also fell short in more important ways. "Along with her husband," Douthat asserted, "Eunice belonged to the dwindling band of pro-life liberals." He then lamented that, "Her brother took a different path."

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