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Re: Doubling Down on Double Standards

Responding to “Doubling Down on Double Standards” by Jonah Goldberg at The Dispatch.

It’s rare that I disagree with Jonah; happens about once every 12-18 months. This, I guess, is one of those instances. Although, oddly, I think I agree with nearly every point made in the piece; the way the Biden allegations have been handled is the much nearer way all allegations should be handled, imperfectly applied due process is better than no due process, team Trump using this as a cudgel against Biden is the height of hypocrisy, etc.

Yet, I don’t think the conclusions quite make sense. I’m sure some cranks on twitter and some paid Trump flacks offer some support to the otherwise straw man Jonah so ably dismembers. But it seems to me, that the bulk of the criticism (and at minimum my own position) is simply that the Biden saga highlights the double-standard displayed in the political media’s crusade against Kavanaugh. And while I agree that the ‘Biden standard’ ought to obtain in these cases, I’m going to need someone to show me where any serious journalistic consensus is emerging to that effect. We certainly didn’t see any contrition or introspection from Dean Baquet. So while I agree that the political media’s behavior vis-a-vis Biden was better, it doesn’t seem that the political media has much intention of hewing to that standard as a rule.

An additional nit I feel I must pick. On the issue of ‘imperfectly applied due process,’ I agree with the statement in it’s purest form. However, I think it misstates the situation. While in the abstract due process in, say, 50% of cases is better than due process in 0% of cases, if the population being denied due process are all (or nearly all) of one class, moreover if they are being denied due process because the are of that class, it’s an entirely different discussion. If on Earth 2, we were to discover that the political media afforded due process in the case of such allegations to everyone except Presbyterians, we would both agree on the intolerability of that standard.