Whoops: Frederick News-Post has to fix column that attacked Charles Murray

On May 12, as part of a column about how Republicans are supposedly waging a war on women, Frederick News-Post community columnist Patricia Weller made some strikingly ill-informed drive-by assertions about Charles Murray, a prominent public intellectual who happens to be a resident of Frederick County. The result was embarrassment for the newspaper, which published a letter today from Catherine Bly Cox that begins as follows:

Patricia Weller’s May 12 column, “Thinking outside of the kitchen,” requires correction. It is full of untruths about American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray, who is a resident of Burkittsville, and my husband.

Most of the quotations offered by Ms. Weller are the fabrication of a satirical website called Newslo. Newslo allows you to push a button that highlights the facts woven into their satire. Women have undeveloped brains and deserve lower pay? Anyone can visit the site and discover that this was written by the website, not by Charles, who has never, anywhere, said any such thing.

Charles is not educational adviser to the Texas gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott. He had never even heard of him until recently, when someone reported that Mr. Abbott had once cited Charles’ work in a footnote. That constitutes the entire connection.

Cox goes on to detail other misrepresentations in the column. The News-Post republished the piece with substantial editorial changes to remove the whoppers noted in Ms. Cox’s letter. That’s nice. It would be even nicer if the paper chose to exercise more editorial judgment over what went into its columns in the first place.

 

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