January 20, 2001
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A front-page dispatch from Washington in today's New York Times reports, "Even before Mr. Clinton had left, there were signs that things were changing in Washington, starting with the choice by Mr. Bush's aides of the Daughters of American Revolution headquarters for the event honoring Mrs. Bush, a venue that would probably not be on the top of the list for any Democratic events."
The word "probably" is enough to set off warning lights at Smartertimes.com headquarters. It is New York Times shorthand for "our reporters and editors couldn't be bothered to check the actual facts, so we are just going to pass along unfiltered our biased liberal assumptions."
Never mind the fact that the Times gets the name of the group wrong; the Times' own stylebook notes that it is "Daughters of the American Revolution," with a "the."
The Boston Globe reported on December 21, 2000: "President Bill Clinton and wife, New York senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton , presented the National Medal of the Arts for the Year 2000 yesterday at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C."
The Washington Post reported on October 9, 1998, "When Emmylou Harris shares the stage at DAR Constitution Hall on Friday with Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams, it will benefit the Washington-based Campaign for a Landmine Free World."
The Washington Post reported on May 6, 1996, "In a town full of clever lawyers, tickets to Johnnie Cochran's speech tonight at DAR Constitution Hall weren't moving well at $35 to $100 per. Sales have climbed since they were marked down to $20 and $35."
The Washington Post reported on January 15, 1993, in an article on suggested activities for Chelsea Clinton during her father's first inaugural week: "Peter Himmelman, the JudyBats, the Connells and other WHFS-FM regulars perform at a charity fund-raiser sponsored by the radio station and College Democrats of America at 7 Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall."
And during Clinton's second inaugural, DAR Constitution Hall was the site of a January 18, 1997, benefit concert for an abortion-rights group called Voters for Choice, founded by the feminist Gloria Steinem.
The Times seems to have a dated image of DAR Constitution Hall as a bastion of segregation and Republican exclusivity. In fact, over the past eight years, the venue has hosted President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, singer Willie Nelson, O.J. Simpson's lawyer Johnnie Cochran, a fundraiser for the "Campaign for a Landmine Free World," Gloria Steinem and Voters for Choice, and an event sponsored by the College Democrats of America.
For the Times to note an appearance by Laura Bush there as a sign "that things were changing in Washington" is just unsupported by the evidence. Probably that is why the Times added the word "probably" to its false claim that the venue "would probably not be on the top of the list for any Democratic events."
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