If Accuracy Isn't a Consideration ...: So, you're Taylor Branch and, by 1992, you've known Bill Clinton for a long time. Secretly, you begin a series of late-night, oral history interviews with the President-elect. Fifteen years later, you announce your intention of writing and publishing a book, Wrestling History: The Bill Clinton Tapes. But wait, who's got the tapes?
Mr. Clinton ... kept all of the tapes, squirreling them away in his sock drawer after each session. Mr. Branch will rely on his own notes and recollections of the conversations, which he routinely recorded during his hourlong drive back to Baltimore from Washington.
This is an odd way to produce a book subtitled"the Bill Clinton tapes" -- since you don't even have them in hand. Branch is a brilliant writer, but put your finger on any page in his civil rights trilogy, give me some time, and I'll find the errors.
Late-to-the-party-but-nonetheless-enthusiastic: My man, Thomas C. Reeves, has discovered David Horowitz's Discoverthenetworks.org. [ed: Stop now. You've put this poor old duffer through the wringer already. op-ed: I can't help myself. The temptation is too great!] It's no surprise that Tom's late-to-the-discover-the-networks-party. The old boy has been blogging for three years, now, and still hasn't learned elementary html coding; and he doesn't understand that having comments enabled on your blog while systematically ignoring them is rude and insulting to his readers.
But Tom's tardy-to-the-pardy runs deeper than that. Horowitz's execrable site first went up three years ago, when Tom began blogging. He missed the party then, when Invisible Adjunct, Kieran Healy, and I laughed at Discover the Network's many errors and idiotic linkages. In its first form, DtN featured such leftist threats to American national security as the Harvard Alumni Association, the Wall Street Journal, Jack Balkin, Paul Berman, and Garry Wills. It was John Holbo, I think, who mocked it as Discover the Nutworks. Quickly, Horowitz took down the evidence of his outfit's sloppy work. Despite its $18 million budget, David blamed the organization's volunteer fact-checkers for all the errors. A year later, he returned with DtN's current edition. It still claims to track the links from Jane Addams, Alfred I. DuPont, and Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and Ayatollah Khomeni.
So, it's this second edition of Horowitz's Nutworks that Tom Reeves lately comes to celebrate. But, seriously, Tom. Even you ought to be embarrassed by that opening sentence:"David Horowitz, a one-time fiery leftist historian, is now the most impressive and indefatigable critic of higher education in this country." Horowitz – left or right -- a historian? Hardly!"... the most impressive ... critic of higher education in this country." You've got to be kidding!